April 19, 2018

Katie Johnson | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Change Agents

A few years ago, then youth services manager Katie Johnson noticed that no one from Pinewood Gardens, a subsidized housing development near the Twinsburg Public Library, was coming to story time. She reached out to the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority (AMHA) to ask about setting up a weekly story time at the site, home to nearly 95 low-income kids under five. The answer was yes, and Johnson partnered with AMHA employee Kellie Morehouse to create Play, Learn, & Grow, an early learning and support program, in a vacant room near the leasing office.

Gina Seymour | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Change Agents

Gina Seymour’s grandmother was a clerk at the Queens Borough Public Library, NY, and as a kid, Seymour spent many hours there. Unlike at school, where her book selections were limited to those with the “pukey green” level label, she says, at grandma’s library she could read any book and learn about experiences different from her own.

Aiden Street | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Change Agents

Aiden Street has all the instincts of a great librarian. “I want to know what keeps people up at night—what are they worried about and what can the library do to help them achieve their goals?” As regional coordinator for the Pioneer Library System (PLS), Norman, OK, and Moore Branch manager, she is perfectly situated to help alleviate some of those worries.

Sophie Maier | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Change Agents

Raised by activist parents, Sophie Maier has had a career defined by advocacy. After the events of 9/11 rocked the global community, Maier, who had spent time abroad and had more travel plans ahead, decided to stay in the United States and explore her hometown: Louisville, KY.

Jason Kucsma | Movers & Shakers 2017 – Change Agents

When Jason Kucsma arrived in February 2015 at Toledo Lucas County Public Library (TLCPL) as deputy director, he already had six years under his belt repositioning the Metro New York Library Council. One of his first goals at TLCPL was to work with the library’s public service administrators to formulate a strategic plan. The library’s prior plan had recently expired, and Kucsma knew they “needed a road map for change.”

Tammy Westergard | Movers & Shakers 2016 – Change Agents

In 2010, as deputy manager of the Carson City, NV, Office of Business Development, Tammy Westergard was exploring ideas for a property formerly occupied by the Nugget casino. At the same time, Carson City Library director Sara Jones was involved in a strategic planning process for a new downtown branch. The two joined forces, developing an ambitious public-private partnership for a 65,000 square foot library. Westergard, with no previous library experience, became deputy library director.

David Giles | Movers & Shakers 2016 – Change Agents

As research director for the Center for an Urban Future (CUF), a New York City–based public policy think tank, David Giles had the chance to advocate on a grand scale—for the 217 branches across New York City’s three library systems. He wrote CUF’s 2013 report, “Branches of Opportunity,” which examined the roles of the city’s neighborhood libraries; in 2014, “Re-Envisioning New York’s Branch Libraries” focused on the severe design, space, and infrastructure challenges they faced.

Cecilia LaFrance | Movers & Shakers 2016 – Change Agents

A former high school teacher and teacher librarian, Cecilia LaFrance is now a voice for people who cannot get to a library. Since she joined Jefferson County Public Library (JCPL), CO, in 2014 as public services coordinator for the Library 2 You program, which includes a bookmobile and home delivery services to 38 senior facilities and three correctional institutions, she has helped to empower senior and incarcerated patrons by bringing library services to them.

Lance Werner | Movers & Shakers 2016 – Change Agents

In 2011, at Lance Werner’s very first board meeting as the new director of the Kent District Library (KDL), he asked for a half million dollars for ebooks. “Many of my friends and colleagues thought I was crazy to make such a big request as a brand-new director,” Werner admits. The board turned Werner down. But at the second meeting, they decided to make a $400,000 investment in ebooks.

Katie Cerqua | Movers & Shakers 2016 – Change Agents

Neither of Katie Cerqua’s parents went to college, but “they raised me to embrace reading, hard work, and education,” says the youth and family services manager at Virginia Beach Public Library (VBPL). Growing up near Pittsburgh, two blocks from a public library, Cerqua says that books and programs were always part of her life—and “the thought of other children missing out on that is troubling.”